The Supersensual Life

The Disciple said to his Master: Sir, how may I come to the Supersensual Life, so that I may see God, and hear God speak?

The Master answered and said: Son, when thou canst throw thyself into That, where no Creature dwelleth, though it be but for a Moment, then thou hearest what God speaketh.

Disciple: Is that where no Creature dwelleth near at hand; or is it afar off?

Master: It is in thee. And if thou canst, my Son, for a while but cease from all thy thinking and willing, then thou shalt hear the unspeakable Words of God.

Disciple: How can I hear Him speak, when I stand still from thinking and willing?

Master: When thou standest still from the thinking of self, and the willing of self; “When both thy intellect and will are quiet, and passive to the Impressions of the Eternal Word and Spirit; and when thy Soul is winged up, and above that which is temporal, the outward Senses, and the Imagination being locked up by holy Abstraction,” then the Eternal Hearing, Seeing, and Speaking will be revealed in thee; and so God heareth “and seeth through thee,” being now the Organ of His Spirit; and so God speaketh in thee, and whispereth to thy Spirit, and thy Spirit heareth His Voice. Blessed art thou therefore if that thou canst stand still from Self-thinking and Self-willing, and canst stop the Wheel of thy Imagination and Senses forasmuch as hereby thou mayest arrive at length to see the great Salvation of God being made capable of all Manner of Divine Sensations and Heavenly Communications. Since it is nought indeed but thine own Hearing and Willing that do hinder thee, so that thou dost not see and hear God.

Jacob Boehme – The Supersensual Life

Behold the Man

“God,” “immortality of the soul,” “redemption,” “the next world,” all concepts to which I have given no attention, no time either, even as a child — perhaps I was not childish enough for them? I am too curious, too incredulous, too supercilious to put up with a rude and crude answer. God is a rude and crude answer, an indelicacy to us thinkers — basically even a rude and crude prohibition to us: thou shalt not think!…

Friedrich Nietzsche – Ecce Homo

Starting Point

For a common man, the independent existence of the world outside the mind, and thus the existence of the glowing sun, hard ground, cold water and the like, is beyond the slightest doubt; he holds this as the unshakable truth. It is enough, however, only to think for a while, to see that there is something even more certain, namely, that there is my own consciousness, because if it were not so, I would know nothing about the material world. Enough is to pronounce this sentence to be immediately convinced that my own consciousness can be the only appropriate starting point for any philosophical speculation. It is amazing that so many centuries had passed before people managed to understand it. Only Descartes with his famous cogito, ergo sum considered the consciousness as the starting point.

Consider the first manifestation of our consciousness. The first of its content can be, of course, nothing but a feeling of a different kind: the feeling of light, sound, pain, pleasure, etc. These feelings come to consciousness, go out of it and change without our complicity. They are the only content of our mind; the content that presents itself to us not as something created by the consciousness, but as something imposed.

The consciousness then assumes that there is an external object, the presence of which is necessary to induce feelings. But this assumption of the existence of external objects, which apparently takes place without any consideration and thought, is actually a logical conclusion, without which we would never have come to know the outside world.

It is obvious therefore, based on the above analysis, that the material world can not be regarded as a collection of some real beings, independent of our mind, which could exist even when the mind did not think or imagine anything.

Adolf Eugen Fick – Die Welt als Vorstellung. Akademischer Vortrag

Pain and Boredom

The basis of all willing is need, deficiency, and thus pain. Consequently, the nature of brutes and man is subject to pain originally and through its very being. If, on the other hand, it lacks objects of desire, because it is at once deprived of them by a too easy satisfaction, a terrible void and boredom comes over it. Thus its life swings like a pendulum backwards and forwards between pain and boredom. This has also had to express itself very oddly in this way: after man had transferred all pain and torments to hell, there then remained nothing over for heaven but boredom.

The striving after existence is what occupies all living things and maintains them in motion. But when existence is assured, then they know not what to do with it; thus the second thing that sets them in motion is the effort to get free from the burden of existence, to make it cease to be felt, “to kill time,” i.e., to escape from boredom. Accordingly we see that almost all men become a burden to themselves. Boredom makes beings who love each other so little as men do, seek each other eagerly, and thus becomes the source of social intercourse. As want is the constant scourge of the people, so boredom is that of the fashionable world. In middle-class life boredom is represented by the Sunday, and want by the six week-days.

From the first appearance of consciousness, a man finds himself a willing being, and as a rule, his knowledge remains in constant relation to his will. He first seeks to know thoroughly the objects of his desire, and then the means of attaining them. Now he knows what he has to do, and, as a rule, he does not strive after other knowledge. He moves and acts; his consciousness keeps him always working directly and actively towards the aims of his will; his thought is concerned with the choice of motives. Such is life for almost all men; they wish, they know what they wish, and they strive after it, with sufficient success to keep them from despair, and sufficient failure to keep them from boredom and its consequences. They press forward with much earnestness, and indeed with an air of importance; thus children also pursue their play.

Artur Schopenhauer – The World As Will. Second Aspect

Through the Looking-Glass

“I can’t believe that!” said Alice.
“Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lewis Carroll – Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There

The Doors of Perception

The sage came to the door of Heaven and knocked. From within the voice of God asked, “Who is there” and the sage answered, “It is I.” “In this House,” replied the voice, “there is no room for thee and me.” So the sage went away, and spent many years pondering over this answer in deep meditation. Returning a second time, the voice asked the same question, and again the sage answered, “It is I.” The door remained closed. After some years he returned for the third time, and, at his knocking, the voice once more demanded, “Who is there?” And the sage cried, “It is thyself!” The door was opened.

Persian story